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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Deck the Halls » » Pictorial review: Memento Mori deck & Ultimate deck (Artistic decks from Art of Play) (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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ART OF PLAY: Artistic Decks

As far as a source for creative playing cards goes, you won't really find a better place than the Art of Play website ( I've recently been scouring the internet to research some of the places you can get beautiful playing cards, and When I first discovered the Art of Play website I was blown away by the variety, creativity, quality, and beauty of the decks of playing cards they have available. Their catalogue of Playing Cards is self-described as "A collection of the absolute finest playing cards in the world. Featuring hand-painted works of art, award-winning design and luxury packaging." And they're not far wrong - it contains over 130 different decks, including some stunningly creative and artistic designs. Owned and managed by magicians and cardists Dan & Dave Buck, Art of Play carries some of the most beautiful decks of playing cards I've ever seen. In this review, I will show you some of what I consider to be their artistic decks that I own myself and have first-hand experience with, and I will give you a pictorial overview of them.



You can tell that the Memento Mori deck is a cool and unusual set of playing cards the moment you first set your eyes on the box ... and it sets its eyes on you!


Yep, this deck is really something else. Not to be confused with the Memento Mori deck by Chris Ramsay, Art of Play's Memento Mori deck was designed by Michael Mateyko of KOMBOH CREATIVE.

Instead of using traditional suits, there are stars, swords, flies, and feathers, each representing order, aspiration, chaos, and scavenging. Like our fly friend right here below on the left.


The cards are a very bold and vibrant red, and feature imagery that is unusual and strong.


This is a powerful deck that leaves a strong impression the moment you see just one of the cards, never mind the entire deck!



The Ultimate deck is truly a work of art - literally!


All 54 cards in this deck are unique works of art, and feature different images by a range of artists. Given all the surprises inside, little wonder one side of the tuck box says "Relish the Experience of the Bewildered", and the other: "The Marvel of the Odd Minded Await". The tuck box is embossed, with silver foil, and a custom stamp seal - so it's a very stylish look right from the moment you first get this in your hands.

The Dan & Dave team describe the concept this way here: "Every single card in the Ultimate Deck is represented with a story, incorporating classical art, as well as works from todays leading illustrators."


The deck was the result of a collaboration with award-winning design firm, Stranger & Stranger, whose name you'll also find incorporated on the intricate back design.


Some cards may look a little macabre or dark, but the majority of the artworks are simply gorgeous and attractive images.


I never really understood the sense of an uncut sheet until now, but decks like this have convinced me otherwise, and now I can appreciate their value and artistic merit.



If you're in the market for something creative, unique, unusual, memorable, and hard to find or duplicate, it's hard to think of a better place to look than Whether you're looking for that one-of-a-kind high end deck for your own enjoyment, or a gift for another gamer, Art of Play has something that will suit, and the decks you see here are fine examples.

To see more, head here:

Memento Mori deck:
Ultimate deck:


BoardGameGeek reviewer EndersGame - click here to see all my pictorial reviews: => Magic Reviews <==> Playing Card Reviews <==> Board Game Reviews <==
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Deck the Halls » » Pictorial review: Memento Mori deck & Ultimate deck (Artistic decks from Art of Play) (0 Likes)
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